Happy Halloween, foodies!
Today I have a special treat for you all, that won’t cause you to feel too full or even gain an ounce. My wonderful older brother, Matt and his girlfriend Lindsay, were so sweet to do this post for you all. They are THE vegans. The ones who know what’s up in the vegan world and are here with several tips that will help anyone go vegan. Both Matt and Lindsay are University of Southern California graduates and currently live in Los Angeles. Matt is a musician, currently spinning as a DJ with my twin brother Travis in their group called I’m Bad You’re Bad. He also co-founded a new website called Flux City “the online media hub for dance and festival music”. Lindsay, a recent May graduate of USC, is a full-fledged actress with an IMDb profile to boot. She earned her degree in theatre and you will see her on the big screen coming soon in a film called “He Loves Me.” So on top of their badass lifestyles, they’re also vegan and care a lot about health. So, read on and let’s show them some love.
Whole Foods is your mecca – and Trader Joes is your mecca light
Hummus should be overused in every way possible, and the more falafel the better – as these are some of the easiest go to meals a vegan can find
When making rice for stir fries and things, it is fun to sometimes use a can of light coconut milk in replacement of water in order to make “coconut rice”. This works especially well when making Thai dishes and when using jasmine rice (An easy go to for me is throwing in a bunch of diced up raw vegetables, like carrots and cucumber, along with tiny pieces of avocado and pieces of raw cashews – this makes a fun and easy little rice dish)
When buying vegan cheese to use for pizzas and things, Daiya cheese is the way to go
When baking – a smashed up or blended half banana or 1/4 cup of applesauce makes a great egg replacement (For muffins, cookies, bread and even pancakes!)
Nutritional Yeast = great substitute for grated parmesan
Warmed almond milk with a touch of cinnamon and sugar is a great before bed time treat
Every frozen meal by “Amy’s” and “Health is Wealth” are your friend
When going out to eat – asian and middle eastern restaurants are your friends, as well as Italian (cheeseless pizza or eggless pasta are easy peasy). If you are at a restaurant that is not so accommodating – look at all of the side dishes the menu offers and compile your own main dish (it is always pretty easy to find a grain and some vegetables that they can cook without butter!)
French fries are vegan.
Soup is a good option and especially good now that it’s getting colder. A lot of soups are vegan, just make sure there’s no cream in them. You can still easily find creamy vegan soups though!
Whole Foods, again, is the best place you can possibly go to get stuff.
-They carry a bunch of vegan salad dressings…”Follow Your Heart” brand. Caesar, Thousand Island, Creamy Garlic and more.
-This is the place to find vegan cheeses. Daiya is definitely the best. It tastes a lot creamier than regular cheese though, so use less. Teese, if you can find it, is pretty good. Vegan Gourmet is alright, but takes forever to melt.
TEMPEH BACON! On its own, tempeh is not really that good… get Fakin’ Bacon. Use it in pasta, on sandwiches…it’s so good. Just fry it a little bit and crumble it up and its delicious.
As far as fake meats go, there are two that blow away the competition.
GARDEIN –> Find it in the frozen foods isle. It comes in little mini meals but you can really use it for whatever. I’ve made everything from burgers to stew with gardein…it is incredible. Can’t recommend it enough.
SEITAN –> Great, great texture and it will assume the flavor of whatever you want it to. Cook it with some spices and herbs and then put it in pasta, in sandwiches or wraps, etc.
Avocado and cucumber rolls are great in a hurry
Pizza can actually be very easily made vegan with no cheese. “Pizza bread” we like to call it. It’s good
One of my favorite fast things to make is a wrap that I make for snacks or for dinner… Get a pita, some of that vegan salad dressing, hummus, some lettuce, tomato slices or other veggies if you want, and a fake meat if you’re hungry. Just throw the pita in a pan and start heating it up on the stove while you cut up the veggies and/or fry the fake meat (optional).
Take the warm pita, put a layer of hummus on it, then add veggies. If you did fake meat put that on top, put some vegan dressing on it, wrap it up and its delicious! Takes about 5 minutes to make.
Big thank you to Matthew & Lindsay!!